This presentation on “Mental Health and Psychological Support (MHPSS) in Disaster” was prepared and shared by Ms. Chetana Lokshum during a National Dialogue on Disaster Management Policies. The presentation incorporates the importance of MHPSS in disaster management. This presentation addresses the vulnerability of Nepal to various natural disasters and highlights its ranking in terms of climate change (4th), earthquakes (11th), and floods (30th) and links with psychological issues arising from them. It further highlights the need for addressing the existing policy gaps regarding mental health in disaster, and brings to light the three phases of psychosocial intervention; the pre-phase focuses on raising awareness, providing training, and establishing robust support networks. In the immediate response phase, Psychological First Aid (PFA) and support groups play a crucial role in offering immediate assistance. Finally, the post-phase centers around psychosocial counseling and rehabilitation, involving the expertise of psychologists and psychiatrists.
Ms. Lokshum stressed the urgent need for psychosocial support programs to mitigate the risk of compassion fatigue among service providers and to educate community workers about their boundaries and limitations in this regard.
Ms. Chetana Lokshum